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Report Ignores True Value of Chicago Hospitals
Date:4/10/2009

ts, which for many hospitals comprise over 50% of their business.
  • Using only an income approach to estimate property tax liability does not take into account that local assessors use a more robust and accurate analysis that results in a lower market value of properties than the income only approach. The Report estimates property tax for the study hospitals at about 2.2 percent of expenses. However, for hospitals in Cook County that currently are paying property taxes, their property tax is about 1% of their expenses.
  • The study disregards the Medicaid shortfall - the unreimbursed cost of providing Medicaid services - even though the report states: "To be sure, Non-profit hospitals provide many benefits to their communities. One such benefit is providing care to Medicaid beneficiaries." Moreover, the Internal Revenue Service has recently determined that Medicaid shortfall is a community benefit and should be so reported under the federal tax code. On average, Illinois hospitals are reimbursed less than the cost of treating Medicaid patients. For the study hospitals, this shortfall totals about $315 million.
  • Illinois hospitals also relieve the burden on government by caring for Medicare patients at less than cost. On average, Illinois hospitals are reimbursed only about 90 percent of the cost of treating Medicare patients.
  • The Report admits that at least 50% of hospital bad debt is provided to persons who likely would qualify for charity care. The reality is that most of a hospital's bad debt is provided to patients who are unable to pay. In most instances, if the patient would only cooperate with the hospital by providing necessary information, these accounts could be classified as charity care instead of bad debt. The bottom line is that bad debt represents care provided to members of the community for which the hospital is not paid.
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  • SOURCE Illinois Hospital Association
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